On Monday, ACHEMA 2000, the international Exhibition Congress for chemical engineering, environmental protection, and biotechnology, opened with strong attendance and an optimistic atmosphere among attendees and exhibitors. 4,148 exhibitors from 48 countries are presenting the latest developments in plant and equipment, technology and know-how for the chemical and other process industry sectors. The 145,572 m2 net exhibition space is divided among 9 halls and an open air area. There are twelve thematic exhibition groups and special show on biotechnology. Since the last event in 1997, the number of exhibitors has increased by 12.2 % and the net exhibi-tion area has grown by 3.5 %, beating all previous records.